Book by its cover…

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A few years ago a client approached me about designing a cover for her self-published book which is now available as an ebook. The finished design was constructed with a variety of publishing options in mind and last year was adapted for ebook publication. Should the author choose to do a print version the design can easily be adjusted for that purpose.

In our initial meeting the author showed me some images she found on the internet that she thought might be appropriate to purchase for the cover, but I insisted on seeing the manuscript so I could get a real sense of what the book was about.

For a while we toyed around with a number of photographic images available online, but as is often the case, though there were millions of images to choose from, none was quite right on the mark. We discussed illustration, but that idea was nixed due to restrictions in the budget.

In our conversations I discovered that she had a good camera and that photography was an important part of her life, so I suggested that she try to set up her own photo shoot using props that were suggestive of the content of her book. I knew that if the resolution was high enough I might be able to work with the images to come up with something.

To her credit, she jumped at the idea and gave me a disk containing lots of high resolution images. From that I selected a few to work with and after some back and forth we settled on the following image.

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I then set to work to adapt that image to fit the atmosphere of her story and writing and what emerged was the image below. It is a good example of the kinds of thing that can happen working with Photoshop.

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We then spent a while exploring typographic options and in the end arrived at the cover pictured at the beginning of this post. We were both quite happy about the outcome and I was particularly pleased that we were able to incorporate one of her own photographs.

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One thought on “Book by its cover…

  1. Leah Rose

    Jim this is amazing! I will bring a copy of your page to my talk. By the way, after a torturously long time (which you referred to) in which I ended up doing much editing, and the final editing as well because it wasn’t in my budget to pay for additional help, I think the novel turned out well. The company I worked with, Hillcrest Publishing, has a splendid system of offering the writer three proofs to keep making corrections on. I hope you have a chance to read the latest version! Best, Leah

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